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61. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 82
Cyril O’Regan Forgiveness and the Forms of the Impossible
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62. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 82
John Milbank The Ethics of Honour and the Possibility of Promise
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63. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 82
Richard Kearney Forgiveness at the Limit: Impossible or Possible?
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64. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 82
David T. Ozar Forgiving and Hoping
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The word “forgiveness” and its verbal form, “forgiving,” may appear to have one and the same meaning whenever it is used. But the first thesis of this essay is that several distinct kinds of human activity are denominated by this word, and their differences are philosophically important. The second thesis of this essay is that some of the human activities denominated by this word have a close connection with hope, more specifically with hoping-in-a-person. The third thesis of this essay is that, because of this connection, some kinds of forgiving have important communal aspects that are often overlooked. The essay develops its three theses through discussions of the expression “forgive and forgot,” a theme from Charles Bosk’s study, Forgive and Remember, a scene from Jane Austen’s, Emma, and a description of forgiving by theologian and spiritual writer, Louis Every.
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65. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 82
Karen D. Hoffman Forgiveness without Apology: Defending Unconditional Forgiveness
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In the following paper, I argue that, although there are conditions that the injured person must satisfy in order to be properly said to have forgiven a wrongdoer, it is a mistake to believe that there are conditions that the wrongdoer must satisfy in order for it to be morally permissible to forgive her. Against arguments that a wrongdoer should only be forgiven if she has met specific conditions, I maintain that unconditional forgiveness may be a morally appropriate response to being wronged.After discussing what it means to forgive someone and examining two attempts to defend unconditional forgiveness (by appealing to respect for persons and to human solidarity), I appeal to Søren Kierkegaard’s Works of Love to argue for a different reason to forgive unconditionally: because one loves the wrongdoer and wants to convey that love, perhaps in the hope that doing so will inspire repentance and apology.
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66. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 82
Financial Statements (2006–2007)
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67. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 82
William Desmond It Is “Nothing”—Wording the Release of Forgiveness
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68. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 82
Gregory Sadler Forgiveness, Anger, and Virtue in an Aristotelean Perspective
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Aristotle figures significantly in the recent boom of literature on forgiveness, particularly accounts wishing to construe forgiveness as a virtue. While his definition of anger is often invoked, he is also a foil for accounts valuing forgiveness more than did Aristotle. I argue through interpretive exegesis of Aristotle’s texts that, while there are definite limits on forgiveness in his thought, so that his notion of forgiveness does not extend as far as in Christian ethics, it does play a significant role in his ethics. Forgiveness is particularly connected with the emotion and dynamic of anger, and my paper examines Aristotle’s discussions of anger, hatred and righteous indignation, indicating how forgiveness fits into these. Finally, I express my suspicions of recent accounts attempting to construe forgiveness itself as a virtue, arguing it is traditionally and more adequately understood as governed by virtues, in particular mildness (praōtēs) as Aristotle articulates it.
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69. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 82
Secretary’s Report (2007)
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70. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 82
Bernard G. Prusak What Are the “Right Reasons” to Forgive?: Critical Reflections on Charles Griswold’s Forgiveness: A Philosophical Exploration
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71. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 82
Josef Thomas Simpson Cognition and the Whole Person: Bridging the Gap in Virtue Epistemology
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Contemporary epistemology seems almost exclusively focused on questions concerning knowledge and justification. Such a focus has had two broad consequences. First, epistemologists have neglected other equally important concepts. Specifically, the concept of understanding is absent in most discussions. Secondly, discussions have avoided the role of the will in the agents to whom we attribute knowledge and justification. Surprisingly, virtue epistemology also suffers from this narrow view. Specifically, virtue epistemologists of all kinds have neglected these two important aspects of our epistemic lives. I examine the spectrum of virtue theories in epistemology, and locate a gap between the two sides—responsibilism and reliabilism. This gap, I suggest, might be bridged if we take seriously (i) the idea that there are other epistemic goals apart from knowledge and justification (e.g., understanding), and (ii) that cognition requires the whole person—intellect and will—and not simply the intellect in isolation from other faculties.
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72. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 82
Gaëlle Fiasse Forgiveness and the Refusal of Injustice
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This paper focuses on the act of forgiveness understood as an act which involves the recognition of injustice. Its goal is to answer to Arendt, who equates the realm of forgiveness with the possibility of punishment, to Derrida, who limits forgiveness to the unforgivable actions in order to highlight its unconditionality, and to Jankélévitch, who insists that the culprit’s repentance is an indispensable condition to forgiveness. By contrasting forgiveness, retaliation, and resignation, I emphasize that forgiveness implies attributing blame for injustice, but I distinguish this from the sphere of punishment. Secondly, by showing how self-esteem is necessary for the victim and the offender, I underline the significance of the culprit’s avowal. These two elements lead to the distinction between inner forgiveness, which entails a superabundant act and an element of unconditionality, and integral forgiveness, which requires the culprit’s repentance in order to be exchanged by two people.
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73. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 82
David Burrell, C.S.C. Postmodern Aquinas: With Attention to Aquinas’s Relation to Scotus: Language or Logic
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74. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 82
Tanya Loughead Shall I Love You as My Brother?: Deconstruction, Friendship, and Our Shared Future
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This essay begins with a perceived problem found in Maurice Blanchot’s work, namely that, while on the one hand, love as we find it in friendship is based upon the separation of two people, a distance which can never be erased; on the other hand, Blanchot makes a comment in a letter to the effect that ‘the Jews are our brothers,’ indicating a love based upon the familial bond, or closeness. This would seem (to some readers, such as Jacques Derrida) to involve a contradiction between the closeness and the distance created in a love relationship. The next section of this essay asks what ‘love of neighbor’ or ‘brotherly love’ could mean and if it can or does exist. Herein, we analyze the response of Sigmund Freud who thinks that it doesn’t exist—that I might be able to respect my neighbor, or have an ethical duty towards my neighbor, but not ‘love.’ We then take a closer look at Derrida, who does believe that there could be a love of neighbor, but that it is through understanding friendship—not brotherhood—that we arrive at this ‘democratic love.’ My conclusion (which aligns with Blanchot and Emmanuel Levinas to some degree) is that: (1) we can have a love of neighbor; and (2) brotherhood, or what I call sibial love, is the best way to understand it. The first point is in accordance with Derrida’s view, while the latter is not.
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75. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 82
Angela Elrod-Sadler Forgiveness in the Works of Julia Kristeva: Public Act or Private Meaning?
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This paper explores the theory of forgiveness offered by Julia Kristeva in her interview with Alison Rice for PMLA, in order to evaluate her “separation of spheres” and her claim that the practice of forgiveness may only occur between individuals. To limit forgiveness in this way has many interesting ramifications, chief among which is the manner in which communion is conflated for “relation” in the general sense. I argue that this inappropriate sense of communion leads Kristeva to an inaccurate distinction, and that her quasi-religious description of forgiveness and the understanding of oneself and others entailed by it, are better grounded in a sense of communion as unity of persons in a transcendent manner. To grasp forgiveness as an act of communion therefore holds several consequences for Kristeva’s theory and radically restructures the relation between the persons involved.
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76. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 82
Jason T. Eberl Cultivating the Virtue of Acknowledged Responsibility
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In debates over issues such as abortion, a primary principle on which the Roman Catholic outlook is based is the natural law mandate to respect human life rooted in the Aristotelian philosophy of Thomas Aquinas. This principle, however, is limited by focusing on the obligation not to kill innocent humans and thereby neglects another important facet of the Aristotelian-Thomistic ethical viewpoint—namely, obligations that bind human beings in relationships of mutual dependence and responsibility. I argue that there is a need to cultivate a “virtue of acknowledged responsibility” and conclude by addressing a prevalent issue in contemporary society: absent paternal responsibility. My aim is to show that there is an interesting and often neglected rationale in Catholic moral understanding for “deadbeat dad” laws that compel men to take responsibility for any children or fetuses they father and to assist women who give birth to those children or carry those fetuses.
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77. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 82
Marie I. George Aquinas on Whether One Ought to Confide All One’s Problems to True Friends
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Probably most of us have suffered at the hands of a friend who continually turned to us for help, as well having been grieved by a friend who failed to do so on a given occasion. And we have probably been chagrinned by friends who divulge to us only the most limited knowledge about their past problems, as well as by friends who provide unnecessary information about their woeful past. The purpose of this paper is to set out Aquinas’s recommendations for the moral guidelines to be followed in deciding which problems we disclose to our friends; these guidelines include: (1) not placing burdens on friends unnecessarily; (2) affording one’s friends the opportunity to do one good; (3) living in accord with one’s social nature; (4) being genuine; (5) encouraging friends struggling with moral problems; (6) bearing faith witness on occasion; (7) avoiding scandal; and (8) avoiding vices involving speech.
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78. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 82
Available Back Issues of the Proceedings
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79. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 82
John J. Fitzgerald Timeless Troubles: The Challenge of Prophecy to the Eternity Solution to the Foreknowledge/Freedom Dilemma
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One answer to the perennial question of how to reconcile divine foreknowledge with human freedom is the “Eternity Solution” (espoused by Thomas Aquinas): God is outside of time, and therefore it is incorrect to say he has foreknowledge. However, in the case of prophecy, God’s knowledge seems to be inserted into the temporal order and thereby transformed into foreknowledge. The eternalist might address this problem in a few ways, but the best answer appears to be that inevitable actions can be free in some sense. At the same time, this answer seems to either (a) ironically lead to the abandonment of the Eternity Solution in favor of other solutions to the foreknowledge/ freedom problem or (b) call for a coherent explanation of the idea that freedom is relatively limited in instances of prophecy and for a revision (or at least clarification) of Aquinas’s views on human freedom and divine non-passivity.
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80. Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association: Volume > 83
Peter Koch An Alternative to an Alternative to Brain Death
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In this paper I will provide a hylomorphic critique of Jeff McMahan’s “An Alternative to Brain Death.” I will evaluate three puzzles—the dicephalus, the braintransplant, and the split-brain phenomenon—proposed by McMahan which allow him to deny that a human being is identical to an organism. I will contend thatMcMahan’s solution entails counterintuitive consequences that pose problems to organ transplant cases. A Thomistic hylomorphic metaphysics not only avoids these unwelcome consequences and provides solutions to the three puzzles but in doing so allows for an alternative definition of death. Since McMahan has constructed his definition of death around his own metaphysics, alternative metaphysics, in this case a hylomorphic metaphysics, allow for an alternative definition of death.
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